Football: Bobcats put lessons in play
Enough was enough, especially for Cy-Fair senior defensive-end-turned-fullback Tommy Hoskins.
In his first two seasons on the varsity, a total of 19 games, Hoskins and his Bobcat teammates recorded one victory while going 1-8 in 2008 and 0-10 last season.
"I was one of the few sophomores to make the varsity two years ago, and even though we didn't play that bad, and we were always in the game, we lost eight straight before we won our last game," Hoskins said, "and then last year, and after the losses started to pile up, it just kind of becomes a habit, and you go into game with the thought of being blown out in the back of your mind.
"That's why we enjoyed every minute and every second of finishing the regular season at 8-2 and advancing to the playoffs."
It will go down as one of the best stories in 2010, and one of the top one-season turnarounds ever.
"It's always good to win, and that's why you work so hard as a team and a coaching staff," Cy-Fair coach Ed Pustejovsky said. "These players made a commitment to get Cy-Fair football back on track, and winning that first game was really big because it took a big burden off them."
The Bobcats hosted Katy Taylor in their season opener, and with less than four minutes to go, they trailed 20-11, and an 11th straight loss, and 19th in the last 20 outings, seemed imminent.
But not for this Cy-Fair squad.
A 36-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Chris Mangram to junior tailback John Jacob, and an extra-point kick by junior Blake Miles, cut the lead to 20-18, and just over three minutes later, with 21 seconds remaining, Miles nailed a 38-yard field goal that turned out to be the game-winner.
"That was huge and it was a fantastic feeling," Hoskins said. "We were locking arms on the sideline before the kick and just went crazy when it was good. That win really contributed to our success this season because we knew we could win more games."
The Bobcats beat Cy Lakes 24-16 in the District 17-5A opener, but then went 1-2 with losses to Cy Woods 28-14 and Cy Ridge 31-17, and a win over Cy Creek 34-31.
"We had to make sure and not get ahead of ourselves with the early success, and we had to truly take it one week and one game at a time," Pustejovsky said. "We preached to keep improving in every game, and after the 2-2 start in district, the team really got on a nice roll."
Five consecutive wins against Cy Springs 31-7, Cy Falls 31-7, Langham Creek 21-17, Cy Ranch 34-0 and Jersey Village 30-13 gave the Bobcats a share of the 17-5A championship with Cy Creek and Cy Woods, and a plus eight in an incredible one-season about face.
"Looking back, going 0-10 really did help us," Hoskins said. "The young guys got some valuable experience, and it was also a learning experience, and now, when we see a team lose, we know exactly what they're feeling.
"Winning became a habit, just like losing did, and believe me, the winning habit is a lot better."
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